01:33 GMT08 August 2020
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    South Korea's independent counsel summoned former Culture Minister Cho Yoon-sun and former presidential Chief of Staff Kim Ki-choon for questioning about their involvement in the blacklisting of artists, South Korean media reported Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Cho and Kim were arrested on Friday on suspicion of being involved in a scheme to deny dissident cultural figures state financing.

    According to the Yonhap news agency, Cho, who resigned on Saturday, and Kim falsely claimed at parliamentary hearings to have not been linked to the scheme.

    The investigators also reportedly suspect President Park Geun-hye of arranging to blacklist the artists who criticized her after the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014, which claimed more than 300 lives.

    South Korea's opposition-controlled parliament on December 9, 2016, voted to impeach Park, weeks after state prosecutors accused her of colluding with a long-time confidante to extort money and favors from companies and allowing the friend to interfere with government affairs.

    The South Korean Constitutional Court has six months to decide upon the validity of the parliament's impeachment of Park. If the impeachment is recognized valid, presidential elections should be called within two months.

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